Reviews are mixed about the Villa Monastero. The site is neither as famous nor as extensive as the Villa Carlotta, but if you are in Varenna and interested in gardens, it is worth visiting this narrow landscaped garden squeezed between the lake and the road, for the clever way that vistas open up among trees, gazebos and statuary. The garden presents a wealth of charming photo opportunities. Like many places in Italy, it has suffered from its fair share of neglect and lack of money spent on it, so that parts of the park look as though they could do with a good overhaul. The villa and park, a congress and conference centre, as well as a ‘House Museum’, is now owned by the Province of Lecco, which is setting about promoting it, so it is to be hoped that it will have the benefit of a bit of sprucing up in the future.
Villa Monastero garden is open every day until the end of October, and the house is open on Friday afternoons, weekends and public holidays. Admission charge to gardens €5, (€2 children and over 65); house and garden €8 (reduced €4).